This topic contains 20 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Judit Gera 3 years, 3 months ago.

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    Judit Gera



    Zenia Merkouriadi


    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    We the affirmative team are in favour of the resolution that “the introduction of unconditional basic income is beneficial for a state’’. Before we come to our own arguments we find it necessary to define the ‘’unconditional basic income’’ (UBI) as a guaranteed minimum income granted by the state individually, to all members of a political community. UBI is given to people regardless of wealth, other income, family status and without the obligation to work.
    We are going to support our thesis on three main arguments. Firstly, the unconditional basic income can minimize poverty and social inequalities. I am going to analyze this argument later in my speech. Secondly, the implementation of unconditional basic income is possible and practicable. Finally, civilized democratic societies have the duty to provide social protection and ensure the quality of life for all the citizens.
    According to our first argument, UBI can end poverty. Everyone gets the minimum they need to survive. So the poorest will get out of poverty, parents will be able to raise their kids, women will be independent and able to avoid abusive relationships, people will have access to healthcare. The idea cuts straight to the heart of the social and financial crisis being experienced across Europe and beyond.
    Basic income policies have been tested in the USA, Canada, Namibia and elsewhere. In Namibia, the guaranteed basic income experiment from 2008 and 2009 showed a number of interesting results. A basic income increased households’ purchasing power. It also reduced the dependency of women on men, and the number of children deemed underweight fell from 42% to 10% (European Parliament Briefing on UBI, September 2016)
    Finland and Scotland, are launching pilot schemes to provide citizens with a monthly basic income in 2017 ( Public discussions take place in UK, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden and many other countries. So undoubtedly, UBI is the future!
    Thank you!

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    How can you prove that the UBI is the future when the basic income policies tested in the USA were not even near of being a “basic income” but more like grants or financial aids, and the experiments carried out in developing countries like Namibia are not comparable with developed countries were social wellfare has been already established?


    Zenia Merkouriadi


    Undoubtedly, UBI depends on a state’s wealth and average cost of living, so it can be comparable between countries. In Namibia UBI was calculated around NAD 100 per person, when the average salary is around NAD 187,74. In USA the pilot UBI programs did the same. Silicon Valley’s Experiment offered between $1,000 and $2,000 monthly. Economists suggest € 620 per month and propose changing the income tax structure or other creative solutions to come up with the money needed. This debate takes place now, so definitely UBI is the future.

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    Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
    My team is against the resolution “the introduction of UBI is beneficial for a State”. I’m going to comment the points my team disagrees on regarding your argumentation, and then I’m going to support our position on two main argumentative lines: Firstly, I’m going to talk about social justice and all that it englobes; secondly, N2 will talk about economic difficulties and prejudices .Finally N3 will synthesize our arguments.
    We went through your speech and spotted out some aspects we do not agree with. You argued that UBI would contribute to gender equality. However, we sustain that UBI would actually have the opposite effect as families might prefer to have one of the parental members working and the other taking care of the kids or doing the household chores. This member would most probably be the woman (i.e. child care benefits in Ireland). As the reputed psychologist Victoria Sau states, “UBI would be contributing to the feminization of poverty”.
    We firmly claim, based on several economists and studies, the implementation of a UBI would undignify work since people would be receiving a check every month that does not reward any work effort. To have a job means a way of organising one’s live: it means objectives, rewardings and not only social but also personal improvements. In summary, UBI decreases populations’ dignity. As Lawrence Katz (professor of Economics at Harvard University ) points out: “It is not just what people do for a living. It is a source of status. It offers an opportunity for progress”. We do know UBI is not a substitute for labour but it definitely cuts off a lot of its value.
    Why not boosting the economy with “guaranteed work”? This is the political proposal of some left-wing parties like Izquierda Unida, one of the main political parties in Spain. (

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    Savas Kotsakis

    You mentioned that we should use “guarntaneed work “instead of UBI .But how can we offer so many work places when there is so much unemployment ?



    Guaranteed work is one of many other alternatives that economists are advocating instead of the UBI. States would work on creating jobs in relation with vital areas for the society like social services, environment… and GNO and cooperatives would manage them. Therefore, “Guaranteed work” would be a program which society could benefit from and boost the economy ,by decreasing unemployment rates and therefore increasing the amount of contributors.

    68 WORDS


    Ephrosini Malaki

    Thank you for your interesting speech. However we have some strong objections. UBI will be guaranteed for everyone, so women who are victims of domestic violence will be able to free themselves and their children without the fear of survival. After all poverty is feminine right now if we take a look at women’s unemployment rates world wide.
    Then, UBI would not make people lazy. On the opposite, people will work for additional income, will be able to say no to work exploitation, will have the chance to take risks with their job choices and entrepreneurship will boost.(
    Now let me come to our second argument. We claim that UBI income is entirely affordable. The cost depends on the plan chosen by each state. According to European Parliament Briefing in September 2016, it has low administrative costs and can replace complex and wasteful welfare systems. There are many reports that calculate the cost and propose ways to find the essential capital. For example we can study the Finnish case ( or the U.S.A. case ( and realise there are many funding options.
    Finally, the international community recognizes the need for adequate social protection systems. The EU Parliament has called on EU Member States to guarantee the right to a Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) safety net irrespective of individuals’ chances in the labour market in order to prevent poverty (European Parliament, 2009). And numbers prove it is essential. According to Eurostat data 23,7% of European population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Almost 1 out of 4! Imagine the situation in the rest of the world. Moreover, a recent report from Oxford researchers concludes that 45 percent of jobs are at high risk of being taken by computers within the next two decades. So civilized societies have to be prepared for this danger as well.

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    You said that each state could decide the way of applying UBI; but don’t you think that different ways of the application of UBI in each country could cause a major crisis, even worse than the huge gap generated because of the Brexit?


    Ephrosini Malaki


    Unlimited Basic Income is not universal. It has to do with the economic situation of each country. It aims to ensure decent living for the citizens of each state and is absolutely connected with the cost of living and economic prosperity of each state. For example, we don’t think that Belgium with €1,532 minimum wage and Greece with €681.76 minimum wage can implement UBI the same way. It definitely cannot be compare with the exit of Britain from the EU, since it is a national issue.

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    Thank you A1 and A2 for your arguments, but I must say that my team disagrees with some points. Women who are victims of domestic violence , as statistics prove, do not stay in an abusive relationship because of economic instability but because of the fear they feel for their partner and his aggressivity. We think that it is illegitimate.
    One of the main problems that economists see in UBI is how to finance it. In his book, the spanish author and doctor in Economy Juan Ramón Rallo argues the following: “If public spending currently amounts to 44% of GDP, it would have to be raised to 65-70%, which would practically double the fiscal pressure we are now suffering. ”
    The manhattan institute´s Oren Cass argues that it is very unlikely that we will lose jobs to automation. A recent study made by Deloitte in which they analysed data from the UK demonstrated how despite technology does substitute power work it increases productivity and work in other sectors like health, education and other professional services.
    You stated that UBI is not universal, nevertheless, saying so you are contradicting your position. According to the one of the most influential website about UBI (, one of the main pillars of UBI is its universalization, as every person, irrespective of age, descent, place of residence, profession etc. must be entitled to receive this allocation. If even with economic issues in developed countries there’s a migrant crisis going on, wouldn’t it be worse when people receive a free form of salary without any warranty of work?.
    As the senior fellow in Economic studies Isabel V. Sawhill says: “In the end, the biggest problem with a universal basic income may not be its costs or its distributive implications, but the flawed assumption that money cures all ills ”.
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    Zenia Merkouriadi

    Deloitte’s study supports that “work of the future is likely to have a bigger share of empathy, thought, creativity and skill”. Don’t you think that UBI could also, in this case even more, give people the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge so as to avoid social exclusion?


    UBI would actually substitute people’s individual needs for subsidies , for example, it only covers half of what the elderly´s entitlements paid. Anyone left to rely on the UBI would be unable to afford both medicare-quality insurance and other essentials, so the less wealthier citizens would not afford to evolve their “creativity” for to say . As the Chinese proverb says “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, we have given an alternative previously, “guaranteed work”.


    Savas Kotsakis

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Starting from what N3 speaker said, it is clear that there are different predictions about the future of automation and employment. In any case we have proved that UBI will ensure a decent living and better job choices. Secondly, negative team has misunderstood the meaning of UBI. As resolution defines, it is a state’s issue for all citizens and not a standard, worldwide income. Finally, “guaranteed work” is utopic as unemployment rates prove every day.
    Now, let me summarize the debate. Firstly, this basic income minimizes the percentages of poverty. It helps people feel safe and have better choices in life. In order to prove that, we mentioned experimental implementation of UBI, conducted in many countries.
    You mentioned that UBI will make people lazier, but we supported that they will work more for more income and they will be able to demand better working conditions.
    Furthermore, we claimed that UBI is affordable. It depends on the plan which is more suitable for each country. It depends on the life cost and wealth of each state. Finally, we all agree that civilized states have to protect their citizens social rights. We based our argument on European Parliament Report and Eurostat Data. So, let’s hope that UBI will become a reality in the coming future to make the world a fairer place to live.
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    Ladies and Gentlemen
    I am going to start by pointing out some weak points that we have noticed on team´s A arguments. They claimed that UBI is entirely affordable, however, to prove this A1 has given examples of pilot policies which do not experiment with actual UBI´s. We sustain that this income would be “cronifying poverty”,it would eliminate people’s individual needs for government helps . A2 has argued that UBI would get people to choose more pleasant Jobs, but what would happen when there is noone left to do these less satisfying but necessary jobs for our society?, maybe we should invest on improving work conditions instead.
    I am now going to continue by pointing out our main points of refutation. Firstly, workers of developed countries have achieved a welfare system that, we claim, needs to be improved but not substituted by a UBI that, we have argued, it is financially unworkable. Secondly, as  Detroit’s investigation proves, automation is replacing power jobs, but it is increasing service work from 1% to 12%. And thirdly, we strongly believe that UBI would contribute to the exit of woman from the workplace.
    As  Mr. Summers (the former Treasury secretary of USA) said, “a universal basic income is one of those ideas that the longer you look at it, the less enthusiastic you become.”
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